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Phablets going the way of the netbook? Please stop talking into your shoe.

August 21, 2014 Mobile, News Leave a comment

Phablet
Remember last year when you’d see some folks speaking into their 7 inch phablets?  Phablets defined here as a mobile device with a screen of 7 inches or more.  It sort reminded me of  Steve Carell speaking into his shoe phone in the movie Get Smart.  Or maybe you could add a smartwatch to that Phablet and really get a whole secret agent, superhero thing going on.

As with netbooks a lot of technology fads start and end in Asia.  If you have a Phablet that’s great. just know it looks kind of funny when you hold it up to your ear.

Read more about the Phablet in Asia.

Phablet role challenged in Asia

 21 August 2014  via www.Warc.com

SINGAPORE: There are signs that the rise of the phablet in Asia may be short-lived as new data indicates a nascent trend to the use of tablets with cellular voice capabilities.

A year ago, International Data Corporation (IDC) was reporting that sales of phablets in the region had doubled and stood at the same level as tablets – devices with a screen size of seven inches or more – and laptops combined.

But it has now found that tablets which have voice calling built in are taking an increasing share of shipments to Asia Pacific (excluding Japan).

According to its Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker report, some 13.8m tablets were shipped in the region in the second quarter of 2014. Of these, almost 25% included a voice calling option as standard. IDC said that this was equivalent to 60% growth on a year-on-year basis in unit terms for this category of tablets.

The surge in terms of both shipments and vendors since the beginning of this year, has been particularly noteworthy in some markets, including India and Indonesia, where shipments of voice-calling enabled tablets are approaching a 50% share.

The concept is not actually new, noted Avinash K. Sundaram, Senior Market Analyst IDC Asia/Pacific’s Client Devices team, as earlier Samsung devices offered the option via a Bluetooth headset.

But he thought the shift being observed presaged a new development, as consumers in emerging markets were increasingly interested in having a single mobile device for all their needs, “be it watching movies and soap operas, taking pictures, texting or making calls, even if the device has a huge 7″ screen on it”.

That raised an image of users almost having to use two hands to hold a device to their face when making a call.

“It also helps that these devices are quite affordable, playing in the entry-to-mainstream price bands in most markets,” Sundaram added.

That combination of addressing a need and offering a competitive price means that IDC believes this trend shift will continue to gain momentum.

A final point to note is that these devices are currently all Android-based. It remains to be seen whether devices based on other operating systems follow this route.

Data sourced from IDC; additional content by Warc staff

The next trend?  The rebirth of the tiny phone.

tiny phone

Mobile payments are inevitable, so can we please make this happen.

August 20, 2014 Mobile Leave a comment

Here’s the deal. Someday I’d like to walk into a store with no money, no credit cards, no shoes in a soaking wet bathing suit and wave my waterproof iPhone at a POS machine and pay for a cold soda. The details of the transaction including the actual name of the store the date time cost and product name would appear instantly on my screen as a receipt that I could save or delete. At the end of the month I would know exactly how much I spent in convenience stores without having to download or look up anything.

The mobile technology is here. The POS machines you can wave things at are everywhere. I was waving my Mobile Speed Pass at gas pumps in 1999.

Can you guys please get together and figure this out. I promise you everyone will benefit, lots of jobs will be created and people will learn to manage their money better.

Also you may want to call the guys over at #uber they have already figured out how to do this in taxicabs.

Thank you.

20 August 2014 via www.Warc.com
PHILADELPHIA, PA: Mobile payments will be as unremarkable within ten years as credit card payments are today, according to two leading academics who warned retailers to heed the technology’s increasing popularity among millennials.

Responding to the findings of a PwC study that suggested consumers were reluctant to store money in a mobile wallet because of concerns about security and privacy, Wharton marketing professor David Reibstein argued that this was simply another manifestation of people’s “paranoia to things that are new”.

Consumers were no longer worried about credit card companies knowing what they were buying for example. Similarly, restricting liability to $50 in the event of fraud had alleviated security worries.

“It’s just a matter of people making an adjustment,” Reibstein said. “I think 10 years from now, we’ll look back at it and say, ‘Hasn’t this always been here?’”

His colleague John Zhang highlighted the take-up of mobile payment technology by millennials, who are using mobile wallets to transfer funds between friends and to store tickets for events.

“In fact, you can combine mobile payments with social networks,” he said, with apps such as Venmo enabling peer-to-peer transfers – ideal for splitting the check in restaurants, for example.

For a demographic that has grown up with social media, this is quite natural behaviour. Bloomberg even remarked on how, among the younger age group, Venmo was on the way to becoming a verb – ‘venmo me’ – in the same way that people talk of ‘googling’ or ‘tweeting’.

While consumers generally have been slow to adopt the mobile wallet – partly because of engrained habits, partly because of the confusion of proprietary technologies available and partly because of security – consulting firm Accenture said that it could “mend the seams of consumers’ disjointed omni-channel experiences”.

Apollo Bravo

And with millennials already embracing the technology, the only choice retailers face is effectively one of timing – when do they step up to the plate and offer the service.

As Zhang pointed out: “If you don’t [accept mobile payments], you’re going to be passé. You’re going to lose lots of your [future] customers.”

Data sourced from Knowledgte@Wharton, Bloomberg, Accenture; additional content by Warc staff

What are you doing with your unused marketing real estate?

February 4, 2014 Mobile, Social 1 Comment

Engage customers and add a new dimension to your packaging, POP, vehicles and promotional materials. 

by Brad Beckstrom

What is “marketing real estate”?  Any company that makes a product, or serves customers, has marketing real estate. By real estate, I mean the white space on things like packaging, mailings, point-of-purchase materials, vehicles, uniforms and sales materials.

McDonald’s serves 69 million people per day.  Let’s say that, based on this amazing number, they serve up about 60 million cups per day.  Based on the number, the space on those cups has some very valuable marketing real estate. What is that space worth to Coca-Cola? What would it be worth to Pepsi? How many people see that Coca-Cola logo a year on those cups?  Based on my back of the napkin tabulations, about 22 billion people in 181 countries.  That is some valuable marketing real estate.

So, a few years ago when McDonald’s decided to make their global packaging more consistent and use this space more efficiently, they put a lot of thought into it, including engaging a global advisory board in the process. They wanted packaging that was attractive, but could work in multiple countries and languages with many different types of promotions.

One of the top priorities was the ability to use this packaging to engage and communicate with customers instead of just sharing a logo or a web address.  After successful test case studies around the world, McDonald’s decided to add a third dimension to their packaging globally with a far reaching mobile web strategy —  incorporating QR Codes.

 

The QR codes drive smartphone users to a McDonald’s mobile website with product information, nutrition information special offers and promotions.  The QR Code destination, mobile websites, promotions and special URLs can be updated digitally without expensive changes to packaging. This helps  large companies avoid waste when packages containing special promotions, product information or nutrition information inevitably change.

Most importantly, it makes efficient use of valuable real estate on every cup, napkin, bag,  placemat, product package, point-of-purchase material in every McDonald’s worldwide.

You don’t have to be McDonald’s to make use of your valuable marketing real estate. QR codes and  mobile short codes can be used by any small business when creatively incorporated into your marketing real estate to engage your customers.  Here is one example of one incorporated into a coaster from Stanley Park Brewery.

Reach out to ApolloBravo for a free mobile marketing strategy consultation and advice on incorporating The Mobile Web, QR Codes and Mobile Short Codes into your valuable marketing real estate.

 

Brad Beckstrom ApolloBravo

MasterCard is working with retailers to drive m-commerce via QR codes

November 26, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

Apollobravo mastercardNew York: MasterCard, in a bid to enhance its positioning in the smart wallet race versus rivals Visa and American Express, has launched a mobile commerce program incorporating QR codes.

QkR A new app currently being tested by MasterCard in the US, Europe, and Australia allows consumers to quickly purchase and pay for products from QkR enabled merchants using a smartphone. Users only need to register their card details to start using the app. QkR Also accepts other major credit and debit cards so consumers can register more than one card.

This year a trial program conducted at New York’s Yankee Stadium demonstrated to MasterCard the demand among baseball fans for acquiring hot dogs, pretzels and other game day goodies via the new technology. Similar tests are underway in Dublin, Ireland and Sydney, Australia.

MasterCard is demonstrating to sports fans and movie theater patrons the advantages of quickly ordering food and merchandise via QR code. These include:

  • No lines, just scan and the food will be delivered to your seat

  • Simple repeat purchase process for – that second beer

  • Never lose a receipt and remember all that food you purchased

  • Option to use debit cards or credit cards

  • A wallet feature in the platform also allows users to also complete and store transactions using rival credit cards Visa and American Express

  • Retailers can tap into MasterCard’s QkR platform to manage transactions

The QkR app also makes transactions more engaging allowing consumers to redeem special offers directly in the app, no coupons or codes necessary.

More info on driving mobile commerce via QR codes

App Info Via MasterCard Engagement Bureau and WARC

Think random

October 31, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

Think RandomRandom winner sweepstakes can instantly reward customers from thousands of different points of entry.

Let’s say you want to run a sweepstakes. You want to engage users across multiple devices, print ads, point-of-sale materials and social media. You want to capture all of the entries in one database, regardless of whether they entered via text message, online or responded to a brand representative at retail. Finally, you want to have multiple winners randomly selected from the entire database of entries.

ApolloBravo developed our SocialPromoter platform with just this type of promotion in mind. We use responsive web design to adapt to thousands of different device configurations and drive traffic with mobile tools including Text-2-Win, branded QR codes, interstitial ads and innovative web apps.

ALL Strike out stains

At the Little League World Series, ALL and Snuggle brand representatives engaged visitors and captured entries via tablets and smartphones. Consumers could also enter by scanning a branded QR code. All of the entries were captured in one database with automated random winner selection and confirmation.

Brands also have extensive options to extend contests via social media with sponsored stories on Facebook or twitter. We also offer the ability to accept email addresses and ZIP Codes via text message for text to win promotion extensions.

Reach out to ApolloBravo for a free consultation on sweepstakes strategy, planning and technology.

Over one third of mobile phone owners using the device as their primary means of internet access.

September 18, 2013 Mobile, Social 1 Comment

A 2013 study from PEW Internet found that 63% of  mobile phone owners use their device to access the Internet. More importantly, 34% of those users stated it was their primary means of access to the Internet. Many of these users are following links shared on social media, apps and email (still the most popular app on smartphones).  With the proliferation of free Wi-Fi and all-you-can-eat data plans the average smartphone user has many options for accessing the web and working remotely.  Because 91% of Americans now own a cell phone, this number will only continue to increase. Device manufacturers like Apple and Samsung continually up the game with the quality of the browsing experience and the speed of the device. Apple’s new iPhone 5S is more powerful than many laptops and certainly more convenient for quick access to information.

mobile internet 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to do with this data? Seriously consider taking a mobile first approach to web design, advertising and consumer promotion. Instead of designing a website or digital campaign for traditional browsers consider first what it will look like on a smartphone. Using this approach it’s easier to then make the campaign or website responsive so that it opens up and breathes when viewed on a traditional browser.  Another option is to use mobile redirection for a fully custom experience.

TV no longer commands viewers’ full attention

July 31, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

Mobile commerce TV viewers

By Brad Beckstrom.

You’re watching a show and you can’t remember the actor’s name so you grab your smart phone and visit IMDb. A sport’s stat on ESPN prompts a friendly disagreement and the smartphones come out in search of the truth.  Or, if you’re like me, you may not even be using the TV to watch a show at all.  You may be using it to stream music through Pandora while running a slideshow through Flickr so  you can get back to that book on your iPad.

A recent study released by Google noted that 77% of TV viewers use another device while watching TV in a typical day. So you’re not alone in your ADD.  These simultaneous activities can often be complementary usage, for example “doing a quick price check on a product being advertised” versus multitasking, ”clearing out some old emails while watching a rerun.”

In either case, the vast majority of these TV viewers will be visiting your site on a mobile device. There are two other things, TV viewers will be distracted, and they won’t stay long.  If you want their attention, it’s very important to assure they land on a page with a great call to action and free of clutter.

There are several options here, the first is to make your entire site responsive to mobile devices, especially smartphones. This way you’ll be sure to present a page that is acceptable to a mobile user and easy to navigate.  Another option is to use code that detects mobile devices and sends them to a landing page on your website designed specifically for those users.

To come up with the best solution for your business, blog or website you should think about how users may come across links to your site. Do you include links to your site in emails? Is your product advertised or promoted on TV? Have you thought about using Google AdWords for mobile or Facebook mobile ads to promote your product or service? All of these will have an immediate impact on the number of mobile visitors to your site.  You should also install and use Google Analytics on your site to get a feel for the current number of visitors arriving via mobile devices.   Don’t depend on analytics alone as it often shows you what users are working with on your site versus what they want.  Reach out to us if you need help coming up with the full picture.

 

Online activity now starts with smartphones

July 24, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

ApolloBravo Mobile commerce

Most online activities start with a smartphone. Think about it, you see an ad or review for the latest gadget and you pull out your current gadget to get a quick price. You may bookmark it or send it to Evernote to check it out later, but you’ve started the online activity.  A new study released by Google shows that smartphones are now the most common starting place for online activities. This is not just about search but includes shopping at 65%, travel at 47% and social networking at a whopping 66%.  This number includes mobile browsers as well as native and web apps. The eye-opener of the bunch was online finance at 59%!

So, if users are coming to your website via search, social media, browsing or shopping, there’s a very distinct possibility that they are using a mobile device. Modern companies need to automatically redirect mobile users to an optimized mobile site or take the next step and create a fully responsive website that automatically detects and adapts to the visitor’s device.

Which option you choose depends on your business. Businesses with a lot of content may choose to offer a mobile site that only pulls specific information from their main website. This is often done to optimize important elements like load times and navigation. If you’re a restaurant or small business and your site is fairly lean to begin with, a responsive option may be best for you.

Once you’ve gotten this off your checklist, you can experiment with many of the new ways to drive visitors to your mobile site and not worry which device they are using. These include QR codes, links in SMS or email campaigns in app promotion and advertising.

If you’re not sure which to choose, we’d be glad to help you weigh the options.

Brad Beckstrom

66% of users find mobile sites through a search engine. Is yours ready?

July 8, 2013 Mobile, Social Leave a comment

Mobile Marketing trendsby Brad Beckstrom

More users than ever are finding websites through mobile search. This is especially true for retailers, restaurants and service companies. Think about what you search for on your smart phone. It could be through your mobile browser, built-in Google search or maps. It could  be a link from Yelp or Facebook or a Groupon that showed up in your email.  Regardless odds are you’re using your smart phone to search for things nearby more than you realize.

Businesses have several options when it comes to adapting to mobile search. One is to automatically redirect users to a mobile optimized landing page. This works especially well for businesses that just need to share items that they know mobile searchers are looking for. It can include your click to call phone number, address, menu or special events and offers. Less information helps your mobile site load quicker, which is very important to mobile users.

If you’d like all of your website content to be available, another option would be to create a responsive website, one that adapts to the device automatically, whether it be a tablet, smart phone or traditional browser.   While a responsive solution is often more expensive it does have the advantage of all of your content being updated in one place for consistency.

A bad mobile experience can cost you customers

June 13, 2013 Mobile Leave a comment

mobile Experience

Think about it. Have you ever used your mobile phone for search? Most people do. When you find something you’re looking for, do you click on it? Most people do. That’s why it’s so important to optimize your website for mobile. A recent study from Google and Nielsen showed that 61% of customers who don’t see what they’re looking for right away will quickly move (or bounce) to another site. There are lots of options including responsive web design and handset detection that can allow your website to automatically adapt to phones, tablets, mini tablets and those big things we see people holding up to their ears called Phablets. 

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